Fianna Fáil has called for a commitment from the Justice Minister Alan Shatter that he will not close any more garda stations in Co Limerick. The need to protect community garda resources topped the agenda at a meeting of the County Limerick Joint Policing Committee today (Monday, 08 October 2012)
Speaking at the meeting Fianna Fáil Councillor Kevin Sheahan proposed a motion calling on the Minister to put a stop to plans to shut down more small garda stations in Co Limerick and to strip Askeaton Garda Station of its District Headquarter status. The motion was seconded by Fianna Fáil’s Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins.
Deputy Collins said, “Many people living in the more isolated areas in Co Limerick are feeling increasingly vulnerable in their homes due to the increase in burglaries, muggings and theft at a time when local garda resources are being cut. The threat of more garda stations in Co Limerick being closed or downgraded is adding to this sense of fear.
“While I fully understand the budget constraints at this time, it makes absolutely no financial sense to shut down small stations that provide real protection to our communities. It costs just €2,000 a year to run a small garda station, and the benefits of having a visible garda presence in a community far outweigh this minimal cost,” the Co Limerick TD said.
Askeaton-based Cllr Kevin Sheahan has expressed particular concern at plans to downgrade Askeaton Garda District Headquarters.
“Minister Shatter can dress it up whatever way he likes but the bottom line is that by stripping Askeaton Garda Station of its headquarter status, the Minister is cutting our local garda resources. This will certainly have an impact on the local community. I have proposed that the Minister puts an immediate stop to the retrograde step. Fine Gael and Labour must make a commitment to the people of Co Limerick that they will not shut down any more garda stations in Co Limerick.”